Roundtable discussion: England full of confidence, US less so

1 week ago 16

DOHA, Qatar -- The United States and England got their World Cup campaigns underway Monday, and did truthful successful decidedly antithetic circumstances. The Three Lions cruised to a comfy 6-2 triumph implicit Iran, successful a scoreline that arguably flattered the Iranians, portion the Americans conceded a crushing 82nd-minute equalizer successful settling for a 1-1 gully vs. Wales.

So, arsenic the brace hole for Friday's gathering astatine Al Bayt Stadium, they bash truthful with powerfully contrasting emotions. England's archetypal crippled occurrence has the country's fans signing "It's Coming Home" already, portion the US's disappointing gully has the American Outlaws fearing a radical signifier exit.

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But what person the teams taken distant from these games, what are the moods successful campy and what tin we expect from each broadside Friday? ESPN asked Jeff Carlisle, James Olley, Sam Borden, Tom Hamilton and Kyle Bonagura to measurement successful connected the US and England up of their hotly anticipated matchup.

How bash the US support spirits precocious up of England?

The US oftentimes are astatine their champion erstwhile they're the underdog, and that volition beryllium surely beryllium the lawsuit against England. There is small successful the mode of expectations, truthful the US person plentifulness to summation and small to lose. This isn't a radical that volition beryllium intimidated by England's talent, fixed that the bulk of their starting XI play successful 1 of the apical 5 European leagues. If they tin negociate to get a effect successful this game, that volition acceptable them up good for the radical signifier finale against Iran. -- Carlisle

It shouldn't beryllium hard. This is the World Cup and that, connected its own, should beryllium capable information to get anyone fired up, for immoderate game. That's particularly existent for the young United States squad with conscionable a azygous subordinate -- DeAndre Yedlin -- with World Cup acquisition anterior to this tournament. Except for Christian Pulisic, who played successful a Champions League final, this volition beryllium without question the astir important crippled of immoderate of their shot careers (and adjacent with Pulisic, this 1 mightiness beryllium much meaningful connected a idiosyncratic level). -- Bonagura

I deliberation this is 1 of those situations wherever the USMNT's younker is really an asset. Because they person astir nary planetary pedigree successful presumption of matches astatine this level, I'm not definite they're arsenic wrapped up successful the affectional swings erstwhile it comes to expectations. Should the US person taken each 3 points against Wales? For sure. But I'm not definite that giving up an endgame equalizer is going to permission the scars it mightiness connected a squad that's much alert of the extracurricular pressure. These players are mostly ecstatic to beryllium present and focused connected pulling disconnected immoderate large surprises -- thing that happened Monday changes immoderate of that. -- Borden

If England could bushed Iran with specified ease, what other are they susceptible of?

England intelligibly person a fig of high-quality attacking players, but determination remains uncertainty implicit whether manager Gareth Southgate tin mold them into a fearsome team, fixed they reached the Euro 2020 last with a cautious, pragmatic style. Monday's triumph implicit Iran was a important measurement successful the close absorption for those wanting to spot England play with greater freedom: There were 5 antithetic scorers and Iran were overwhelmed astatine times by the Three Lions' question successful the last third. Whether they tin play with specified invention arsenic the unit grows is the large unknown. -- Olley

Expectation astir England is ever sky-high astatine immoderate tournament, adjacent much truthful present aft their commencement to this tournament. But Southgate and his players volition cognize this is simply a seven-step process, and they've lone flooded the archetypal hurdle. It's that dire aged shot maxim of taking each crippled astatine a time. It's lone 1 win, and campaigns tin unravel rapidly truthful they won't get carried away. Topping the radical is key, truthful that's the archetypal goal. -- Hamilton

How prepared are the US to endure against possession-hungry England?

This volition beryllium the archetypal competitory crippled nether Berhalter successful which the squad volition beryllium decisively little talented. It's an absorbing dynamic due to the fact that it could unit immoderate large tactical wrinkles to statesman the game. With that said, Berhalter's experimentation the past 2 years person been mostly subtle, truthful a much important alteration against England would necessitate him to unveil thing that would person lone been worked connected successful grooming situations -- of which helium hasn't had galore opportunities. I expect the US to instrumentality with the accustomed approach: 4-3-3, play retired of the backmost and anticipation that their caller way grounds of mediocre accidental instauration changes. -- Bonagura

I don't deliberation there's immoderate question that they'll endure immoderate against England, but I'd besides look for them beryllium comfy pushing guardant themselves. This isn't going to beryllium a 90-minute battle by England, successful my sentiment -- the US person capable weapons to marque the counterattack a morganatic interest for the English. The question that volition determine the lucifer is conscionable however overmuch the US are capable to relieve the unit connected them by countering. If they can't, it could beryllium a very, precise agelong night. -- Borden

I'd accidental plenty. I deliberation the US person shown during the backmost fractional of this rhythm that, successful competitory matches, they're consenting to beryllium pragmatic erstwhile they request to be, and that includes absorbing pressure. Look astatine the World Cup qualifier against Mexico astatine the Azteca. El Tri dominated possession (62% to 38%) yet the US inactive managed to make amended opportunities than Mexico did. If the US instrumentality a leafage retired of that playbook, they tin beryllium successful. -- Carlisle

How bash England support from getting up of themselves aft 1 game?

With the top respect, it was lone Iran. England should triumph that lucifer 99 times retired of 100. And they were acold amended Monday. Southgate's broadside person that large tourney experience, and are good versed with the challenges of managing anticipation and pressure. Having gone truthful adjacent successful the past, surely this is England's champion accidental to spell the afloat distance, based connected acquisition alone. Expect Southgate to support his players connected their toes, and hammer location the request to apical the group. Big tournaments are each good and bully erstwhile momentum is connected your side, but 1 gaffe oregon unpredictable effect tin derail a tournament. -- Hamilton

Southgate was speedy to constituent retired afterwards that adjacent successful a crippled England dominated, they inactive conceded twice. England's defending remains the weakest portion of their team, and determination were vulnerabilities that amended opponents displaying greater attacking intent could readily exploit. Southgate is besides precise alert of however rapidly campaigns tin beryllium derailed by an wounded oregon an contented wrong their campy -- helium volition not let immoderate complacency to creep successful with, what they hope, volition beryllium six matches left. -- Olley

What tactical tweaks tin Berhalter marque to kick-start the US attack?

For me, I deliberation determination are 2 wide changes: Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest are some intelligibly not 90-minute players astatine this constituent and, adjacent more, they're some connected yellowish cards. With the value of the Iran lucifer careless of the effect against England, I'd beryllium some and bring successful Brenden Aaronson and Joe Scally. Why hazard a suspension for Dest and McKennie successful the astir captious match? Plus, they could some usage the rest. I'd besides see -- and this is simply a small extremist -- starting Giovanni Reyna connected the helping and utilizing Tim Weah arsenic a striker. I know, I cognize -- that's not wherever Weah prefers to play, but fixed his decorativeness successful the Wales game, helium intelligibly doesn't caput moving done the middle! -- Borden

I deliberation Berhalter needs to find a mode to get Aaronson connected the tract from the start, and that astir apt means replacing McKennie, who was not large connected the shot against Wales and is sitting connected a yellowish card. Aaronson is an implicit pest defensively, truthful portion the US would miss McKennie's precocious runs into the box, they wouldn't suffer overmuch if thing defensively and they'd summation much accomplishment connected the ball. Also, it's clip for idiosyncratic too Pulisic to beryllium taking acceptable pieces. His transportation has been consistently poor, and the US are squandering scoring opportunities arsenic a result. Oh yeah, let's get Reyna successful the lucifer arsenic well, particularly if the US are successful request of a goal. -- Carlisle

Tyler Adams has been chiefly utilized arsenic a lone antiaircraft midfielder with the 2 different midfielders playing successful much precocious roles. To relationship for the English's wealthiness of attacking talent, it would marque consciousness if Yunus Musah dropped deeper. He would supply further screen for the backmost enactment and is amended suited to beforehand the shot than Adams. If that happens, it would marque consciousness for Aaronson to play higher up -- taking into relationship his accomplishment acceptable and McKennie's evident fatigue -- and anticipation that has benefits successful each phases of the game. -- Bonagura

How volition Southgate support England caller without halting their momentum?

Southgate has repeatedly talked astir the request to utilize his squad and support his cardinal players crisp passim the tournament. It volition beryllium hard to alteration a winning squad fixed however awesome they were Monday, but 1 oregon 2 alterations look probable: Southgate made 2 changes successful England's 2nd crippled astatine past year's Euros, swapping retired some full-backs. He made 1 alteration astatine the aforesaid constituent successful their 2018 World Cup campaign. -- Olley



Gab Marcotti says England tin lone instrumentality positives aft an awesome attacking show successful their 6-2 triumph vs. Iran.

Expect England to instrumentality by and ample with the aforesaid XI for the USMNT, but determination whitethorn beryllium the unusual tweak. If injuries are worse than feared, they could punctual changes. Harry Maguire picked up that bang to the caput against Iran, portion Harry Kane sustained that sound to the ankle -- truthful if either are a distant doubt, past expect Southgate to rotate a touch. Phil Foden and Jack Grealish are good trusted by Southgate and could get a chance, arsenic the England manager has successful erstwhile tournaments made a constituent of trying to springiness players lucifer clip during the radical stages. But helium won't rotate for the involvement of rotating -- it'll beryllium balanced against the request to proceed this winning tally and momentum. -- Hamilton

What tactical matchups volition each squad look to exploit?

I'd accidental look to get Weah matched up against Luke Shaw. Weah is successful fantabulous signifier astatine the moment, and getting him successful the unfastened tract should wage dividends. Getting Dest much progressive is cardinal arsenic well, which would unit Raheem Sterling to support much than he'd like. The US's champion opportunities volition apt travel successful transition, and the Americans request to execute amended successful those moments if they are to get a result. The opportunities were determination against Wales, and the US didn't instrumentality advantage. -- Carlisle

Set pieces. England were a changeless menace from acceptable pieces successful 2018 (nine of their 12 goals came from them) and aft a dip successful that potency astatine the Euros, they looked unsafe erstwhile again Monday with Maguire astatine the bosom of things. The Manchester United defender deed the crossbar from a Kieran Trippier country earlier helium aboriginal headed down Shaw's transportation from the other broadside for Bukayo Saka to people the archetypal of his 2 goals. By contrast, Pulisic's transportation against Wales was notably poor. -- Olley

The facet that comes to caput for maine isn't rather tactical, per se, but much situational: The US request to beryllium amended connected acceptable pieces. I'm not wholly definite wherefore Pulisic is inactive taking each the country kicks and, careless of who takes them, the Americans request to instrumentality vantage of escaped kicks successful unsafe positions. They person plentifulness of talented dribblers who volition gully fouls astir the punishment country and, successful a tourney similar this one, acceptable pieces are the large equalizer. The US request to springiness themselves a accidental for that to hap successful their favor. -- Borden

When Pulisic came connected against Newcastle United for Chelsea, Trippier made his beingness felt aboriginal connected with a crunching tackle. Although Trippier was booked, helium contained Pulisic and nullified that menace for the remainder of the game. If England repetition that maneuver -- though Pulisic does play much centrally for the USMNT -- past that volition spell a agelong mode to stopping them. Likewise, if England tin squash the American menace up front, past determination volition beryllium plentifulness of abstraction for the full-backs to propulsion up and tally astatine the US backline. -- Hamilton

Unlike Wales, who were initially intent connected sitting heavy and playing for a draw, England are going to play. That's a rarity successful an hostile for the US, who routinely struggled to interruption down debased blocks during World Cup qualifying. They seldom got the accidental to antagonistic with numbers, but this crippled figures to person immoderate of those moments. We'll spot if they tin instrumentality advantage. -- Bonagura


England 2-0: It's hard to spot however the United States' accordant inability to make bully chances volition abruptly beryllium rectified against the champion squad they've played successful a competitory lucifer with this radical of players. -- Bonagura

England 3-1: A nervy archetypal 60 minutes for some teams with plentifulness of frantic midfield battles lone for the spot of England's seat to bring them home. -- Hamilton

England 2-1: The US volition beryllium competitory successful this match, but the Three Lions person excessively overmuch prime for the Americans to overcome. -- Carlisle

England 3-1: The US tin origin problems for England's porous defense, but Southgate's broadside should person excessively overmuch firepower. -- Olley

England 2-1: A akin publication to the past lucifer arsenic a precocious extremity hurts the USMNT, lone this clip it's from Kane and this clip it leaves them with zero points alternatively of one. -- Borden

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